Five year women empowerment project launched
By John Agok
Young Women Advocacy and Accountability (YWCA) in South Sudan yesterday launched five-year consortium project that costs 890,000 US Dollarsto gear on advocacy, empowerment of Young Women and strengthening the level of their participation in decision-making.
The program will target faith- based organizations, human rights organizations and civil society organizations among other five organizations that will be implementing cross-cutting issues related to young women in the society.
This will also be implemented in other countries including South Sudan, Kenya Egypt and Palestine with similar task of Women Empowerment.
The project is being supported through ministry of foreign affairs in collaboration with Netherland Embassy and implemented by both Ministry of Gender, child and social welfare and Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Speaking to the press at the sideline of launching event, Executive Director YWCA South SudanModiEnosaMbaraza, said that the aims and objectives of the project is to raise awareness which is advocacy, and empowering young women in the society.
“We are targeting young women ranging from 18 – 30 years with this project just to empowered them and be able to participate in decision-making so that they can play role in leadership and allow these young women to participate in all activities without undermining them”, she said.
She called upon International Women Organization including UN Women organization among others to continue lobbying and making sure that, women are given space to participate in decision-making especially in leadership and domestic matters.
“We are engaging these women in several pathways including faith-based organization in looking at issues of cultural hindrances that face them. Churches should continue counselling and rising the level of awareness to communities to give up such difficult cultures that do not allow women in decision –making process especially during marriages and other vital conversations” she underscored.
Enosa urged both Community and parliamentarians in state and National level to devise laws that can safeguards young Women and also speculated challenges they will encounter during the implementation phase.
“We are calling on stakeholders in this shrinking space to introduce the safeguarding laws that will protect young women in such cultural aspect. Also we will be face by norms and cultures hindering the equal participation in decision –making, especially women at the grassroots level, given the fact that, we are patriarch system where our society is obstinate to social changes”, she concluded.
Meanwhile, Madam Esther Ikere the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCW) welcomed the launching project and admitted that, Ministry is mandated to enhanced policy of women empowerment and other remedies for gender equality in the society.
“We in the Ministry are liaising with Civil Society Organization (CSO) in implementing the policies of (MGCW). The Ministry and especially UN Security Council Resolution were calling on Donors and CSO in continuing funding and implementing projects that will boost advocacy, Women empowerment and also to foster equal participation in decision-making”, she said.
She added that there are set up gender Machineries at state level to implement the policies of National Ministry.
“We want to empower Young Women to beat inter-generational level by bringing on board young women to participate in leadership decision-making and solved directly the issue of 35% women representation once and for all”, she added.
However, Kiden Grace the Gender Coordinator for APAD pledged as implementing partners, they will vigorously reach out to grassrootwomen and empower them to advocate for Gender Based Violence (GBV) issues in the community.
“ As implementing partners we strictly streamline the issue of Gender Based Violence at local communities and it is pretty challenging to addressed it without initially lobby and advocate the matter” , she said.
The five year project will target Young Women at the state and grassroots level in Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria respectively.